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Royse City pastor facing child porn charges

The pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Royse City, Texas, has been charged with transporting child pornography, U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas said in a news release Thursday.

Steve Richardson is accused of distributing an image of child pornography to an undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent using Google's "Hello" software program, according to Roper.

The "Hello" software is an Internet service that allows users to trade images directly to a second person, according to a news release from Roper's office. Users also can chat online with each other.

Richardson's "Hello" user name was "cowboysspades," according to the news release.

After assuming the identity of another user, authorities received a total of six images from cowboysspades in December 2007. One of the images included a picture that was described as child porn, while the others were considered child erotica, according to the news release.

Authorities received five more images from cowboysspades in February.

Authorities executed a search warrant Wednesday at First United Methodist Church where Richardson admitted he was cowboysspades and admitted to trading child pornography using his work computer, Roper said.

Royse City is northeast of Dallas in Rockwall County.

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